Thursday, July 19, 2012
A Rant About This Thing We Call Writing
Let me start by saying- Writing is a disease. Seriously. It is. It's like a terminal illness. Honestly, when people with regular jobs devote this much time and effort we call them workaholics. We talk about how much they need to take a break and relax. Maybe they need a vacation. Right? So do writers take vacations?
How can I take a vacation when my characters will not SHUT UP? I take them with me everywhere. They are the voices inside my head. They are the snarky commentators who make me laugh at inappropriate times in inappropriate places. I see them in the people I meet at the store. I see them in magazines, on television, and most definitely in my extended family members.
THIS is why writing is a terminal illness. It's inside you. It's a state of mind, a way of being, a world view that cannot and will not be changed no matter how much you try. There is a reason people say that creative types are eccentric- we can't NOT be eccentric. We're trying to function every single day with a thousand voices chattering inside our brains. We constantly channel personalities that are not our own. We react to things in ways we would not because at that moment we are thinking that's what our heroine would probably do. And we cannot in a million years stop asking WHY.
That said- I sure as hell wouldn't want to change the way I think. I wouldn't want to be a mundane normal person who never looks at a situation and wonders why it just went down the way it did. I don't want to stop reading too far into what people say. And I certainly don't want to give up my voices. I'd miss them. How lonely would it be inside my head without the Boston Avant Garde crew throwing their party in my psyche?
See, here's the real secret. Writing makes you strong. It's an outlet, a coping mechanism, and a way to combat just about any mental malady. The same way that some people can sink into a good book as a form of escape, I can create entire worlds to escape from everyday boredom or stress. I am never alone. I never lack for opinions on the way I should proceed in an emergency. When some drastic event happens in my life, my inner child retreats behind my inner badass and lets her step forward to take charge.
So the next time you see a studious looking mouse hunched over a keyboard inside the local coffeeshop, don't you dare pity that POOR person sitting all ALONE.
A. That person is probably perfectly happy to sit there and observe the hyperactive extroverts around the room.
B. That person isn't alone. You simply can't see his or her posse. Just don't get them stirred up, there's no telling how they'll manifest on that particular day...